New Delhi: Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim on Friday said that the previous selection committee, which he was part of, had taken some tough decisions in order to take the country's cricket forward.
In a discussion on Innovation in Play, organised by Pro Wrestling League (PWL) here today, Karim said that he along with other selectors focussed on bringing in fit and skillful youngsters to replace experienced seniors to make the transition phase of Indian cricket smooth.
Talking about how innovation can become the core driver of growth in any sport, Karim said: "We came in as national cricket selectors in 2012, a year after India had won the ODI World Cup. There were a number of senior players with immense contribution to the team's success. But after winning the 2011 World Cup, India had lost a few series.
"So we had a vision on what we wanted to do in the next four years and that was to see India becoming No.1 team across all three formats of the game. We chose to select players who had high fitness levels, besides talent and skills, and slowly included them in the team. And eventually we met our goal of becoming number one in Tests, ODIs as well as Twenty20 cricket," the former cricketer said.
Karim said while people talk about innovation and growth in sports in India but ultimate game plan or measures needed to be implemented properly in order to achieve the goal.
Besides Karim, other members of the panel included VN Prasood (General Secretary, Wrestling Federation of India), Goldie Behl (Filmmaker/producer and Co-Owner PWL franchise Haryana Hammers), Anurag Batra (Chairman & Editor In Chief, Businessworld), Hemanshu Chaturvedi (Sports Guru - HTC Sense).
Speakers exchanged views on advances in technology and innovation adopted by various small and big organisations to sustain in the competitive environment and grow eventually.
The session also saw 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Marwa Amri from Tunis and Commonwealth gold medallist Yana Rattigan share their experiences.
Prasood, secretary WFI, said: "We, as an association, are keen to improve the standards of wrestling. Be it a small town, district or a state, training methods needs to improvise for promoting the game and taking it to the next level."
The Chairman & Editor In Chief of Businessworld said for any league or sport to grow in the country one needed to have a long term horizon.
"Tables cannot turn soon as it takes time for things to develop and create an impact. Innovation will happen when we stay committed to the growth of the game," Batra said.
Goldie Behl felt people who love sports must get involved in various capacities to take a particular game forward.
"You can be a good player, a passionate player but for any sport to grow everyone with love for sport needs to be involved in some or the other way. Sports is a feasible career option and with the current eco system, there are too many opportunities. Options like sports administration, coaching, etc must be explored thoroughly," said Behl.